NaVorro Bowman’s left knee may not be back to where it was, but his status among NFL linebackers is very much intact.
Bowman was the lone 49ers player to make the AP All-Pro first team on Friday. Bowman was an All-Pro from 2011 to 2013 but missed last season after having reconstructive surgery on his knee. Bowman also was voted by fans, coaches and peers into the Pro Bowl.
He led the NFL in 2015 with 154 tackles. That title usually goes to a good player on a defense that is often on the field.
The 49ers ranked second-worst in that category as their offense was on the field for an average of just 26:23 a game. The only defense on the field more in 2015 was Chip Kelly’s Eagles unit. Philadelphia’s quick-paced offense held the ball for an average of just 25:51. The 49ers interviewed Kelly for their head-coach opening on Thursday and could request a follow-up meeting next week.
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Bowman’s resilience in 2015 may have been more impressive than his tackling ability.
He played all but 40 snaps this season despite battling pain and stiffness in his knee. Bowman was one of three 49ers defensive players – along with safety Eric Reid and nose tackle Ian Williams – to start all 16 games.
The 49ers announced Thursday that Bowman has won their Ed Block Courage Award honor. The team’s MVP award, as voted on by coaches, went to kicker Phil Dawson.